What is ATUS-X?
ATUS-X is a project dedicated to making it easy for researchers to use data from the American Time Use Survey (ATUS). The ATUS is an ongoing time diary study, started in 2003, that is funded by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and fielded by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Time diary data allow researchers to look at how much time people spend doing different things. The ATUS provides information on time spent in each of more than 400 detailed activities. For certain purposes, it may be of interest to look at activities that people do at particular times of day (for example, paid work that occurs between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.), in different locations (for example, paid work done at home) or during which the respondent had a child in their care. ATUS-X offers flexible tools for creating time use variables based on the ATUS.
The ATUS-X project assigns uniform codes across all of the data collection years and brings relevant documentation into a coherent form to facilitate analysis of the data. We provide descriptions of all of the variables we offer and, for categorical variables, codes and frequency counts for each year they exist in the data.
The ATUS is composed of microdata. Records may be at the household, person, or activity level. All characteristics on each record are numerically coded. People are organized into households and information on the characteristics of all household members is available, making it possible to analyze people in the context of their families or other co-residents. One person in each household is selected to participate in the American Time Use Survey. These respondents report all of the activities they engaged in over a 24 hour period. Each activity that is reported constitutes a separate record. Because the data consist of records that refer to individuals and the activities they engage in and not tables, researchers must use a statistical package to analyze the data. The data access system allows users to select only the years and variables they require.